Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

374                                                 PABGANA
ground for troops, about 46 bighas in extent. The principal feature of the town
is its sarae (already noticed at page 29), which covers an area of 20 bighas, its
walls measuring 732 feet by 694. Jacquemout, who saw it in the year 1829,
describes it as tsi a large fortress, of fine appearance from the outside, but it will
not do to enter, for inside there is nothing but misery and decay, as every-
where else, except perhaps at Mathura and Brindii-ban " He would find matters
improved now, for in 1876 I had a broad street laid out through the centre of
it from the one gate to the other, and at the time of my transfer it had become the
principal bazar in the town. I had also sent up an application to Government
for a grant of Rs. 3.500 for the repair of the gateways, which possess consider-
able architectural merit. The repair of the side walls and cells I had already
taken in h&nd and nearly completed, by means of small aunnal allotments out
of the chaukidari fund.
In 1857 the sarae was occupied by the rebel zamindars, and one of the
bastions (now built up square) had to be blown down before an entrance could
be effected. - The town was subsequently set on fire and partially destroyed,
and twenty-two of the leading men were shot. It was originally intended to
confiscate the zamindars7 whole estate, but eventually the jama was only raised
to half as much again for one year. The population are chiefly Juts, the next
most numerous class being Jadons. The name is derived by the local pandits
from the Chhattra-dJiarand-lila, which Krishna is said to have held there ; but
there is no popolar legend regarding such an event, nor any very ancient sacred
place in its vicinity ; though the Yraja-bhakti-vilasa (1553 A.D.) mentions,
it is true, a Chhattra~ban and a Suraj-kttnd. The latter is still in existence to
the north-east of the town, and is a large sheet of water with one good masonry
ghat built by a Brahman, Bijay Ham, an officer of the Bharat-pur Raj, who also
built the very large brick house adjoining it, now in ruins. All round the tank
are fine old trees and beyond it an extensive rakhya of chhorJcar, pilu, and hingot.
There is another tank on the Mathura road called Chandra-kund, which it
would be an improvement to deepen and embank. The word Chhata probably
refers to the stone chhattris which surmount the sarae gateways, and form
prominent objects in the landscape from a long distance. There is a tahsili
school and a weekly market on Fridays. The Hindus have nine small temples
and the Muhammadans four mosques.
SAHJ&-population 2,776—seven miles from Chhata and nine from Gobar-
dhsra, -was, from 1838 to 1857, the headquarters of a tahsilL At the beginning
of last centary it was a place of considerable importance under the Jats, being
the &Y0nrite residence of Thakur Badan Sinh, the father of Suraj Mali, the first